Make an Intelligent Pie and Enjoy Better Results


In honor of Pi Day  3/14/17, I want to discuss pie charts as they relate to marketing and business.

Visualize your marketing budget as a pie chart.

I like to see a healthy, colorful pie with marketing slices amply funded and in good relation to each other.

A pie chart gives me a quick picture of any concerns. Taking data and creating formulas and charts is always interesting to me. Not because I am particularly good at mathematics.  It’s not something I actually enjoy but I am a firm believer it is necessary to measure your marketing. And that,  requires math.

Spreadsheets are my favorite tool. They are great when it comes to plugging and chugging through calculations. The equations coded into the spreadsheet free me from worry that I have the information wrong. When set up properly, you can model “what if” scenarios by simply changing a few variables.

A quick audit of a client’s past budget and actual data tells me a lot. I usually organize expenses into broad categories and then make a pie chart. That visually draws my eye to the categories where the most and least spending occurs. For more on effective budgeting, check out Learn Why Budgeting Is So Important.

If your pie is only two or three colors, you are distributing your marketing budget too narrowly. You’ve probably got some great content and information to share but you aren’t leveraging it. You should be using and reusing your content 8 to 10 times!

On the other hand, if your pie has lots of colors but they are razor thin slices, you are are most likely funding too many activities. Your activities will be severely underfunded and doomed to failure from the start.

The final pie scenario is one where the balance of activities is perfect but you have only a single-serving chicken pot pie instead of a full-size pie for an entire family. In other words, the size of your overall marketing budget is just too small and needs to be expanded to perform well.

I recommend dedicating a percentage of revenues to marketing.  The percentage depends on the margins in your industry and the health of your business. You have to start somewhere so try 3-4 percent and go from there.

All this talk of pie is making me hungry. How about you?